Charly Palmer is displaying his latest works of fine art in an exhibit titled “The Power of Be,” where he plans to surprise us yet again with 15 new pieces of art. If you happen to be in the Atlanta area, you’d be doing a disservice to yourself by not checking it out.
Rolling out caught up with Palmer at Mason Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta for an exclusive interview.
What should we take from the title “The Power of Be”?
That’s a good question. “Be” is “Being,” “Be Still,” “Becoming,” a power in Blackness that’s hard to explain, but my sole focus is Black, telling our narrative of who we are and beyond. It’s all about claiming that word “Be.” All 15 of the the pieces began with “Be.”
Did the art or the title come first?
That’s another good question. Everything comes from a spiritual place often from dreams, then I have to sit still and wait for it to unveil and unravel.
The first piece was “Becoming” followed by “Blessings” which led to “Beyond” then “Beloved” and then the project began to make sense and take shape.
Time magazine commissioned you to create the artwork for the cover of its “America Must Change” issue, which was about the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. How do you balance social activism and art?
It’s very much all in one for me. Every day I have to remember who I am, where I come from and what I stand for. I’m very much for my Black People.
For 25 years I have painted about our story, I paint about us, who we are, beautiful Black people — enough said, drop the mic. We are beautiful, intelligent and powerful. We are amazing people.
Read more on the next page and peruse the photo gallery of Palmer’s art.